When you ask an English teacher if they always wanted to have this particular career, most of them will answer “Of course I did. I knew since I was little.”
But Ms. Vasellas is a little different in that aspect. She didn’t always want to be an English teacher. If she could have any other job in the world, she would become a music teacher.
In the midst of the cafeteria chaos, Ms. Vasellas took some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions.
She says there was never really a single moment when she knew she wanted to be a teacher. It was collectively apparent over time and from the help of her 5th, 9th, and 12th grade teachers, she decided that teaching is what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
“They made learning fun and all around interesting. I waited for the time when I would have their classes because I enjoyed them so much.” she said as she smiled from the memory.
Growing up in Red Lion and then later teaching in the same town has its perks. “I’m able to see the students I had 20 years ago come to parent teacher conferences for their own kids who I now teach and I think that is crazy!”
The most rewarding part of being a teacher for her is “seeing when the lightbulb goes off in a student’s mind and they finally understand something.”
Her favorite memory as a teacher is when she gets letters from her past students and she is able to reminisce on all the years she has taught at Red Lion.
After attending MIllersville University and receiving a Bachelor’s in Secondary Education and majoring in English, she returned to Red Lion and became a substitute teacher at the junior high.
After some time of being a part-time substitute, she was finally offered the job of being a long term substitute and then a tutor. In 2009, she was given the position of teaching English in a seventh grade class.
She taught seventh grade English at the junior high from 2009 to 2016. After seven years of teaching middle school she was given the option to teach at the high school level. She immediately grabbed the opportunity.
She can easily say that when having to choose between teaching middle school or high school, she would never hesitate with teaching high school. “They’re maturity level is a so much higher than the junior high kids,” she said.
In 10 years, she can see herself retired, living on her farm with her grandchildren and hopefully great grandchildren. But most importantly, she will still be living in Red Lion.
“It is where I grew up as a child and was able to find my career. I’ve had so many memories in this town, I couldn’t just walk away from it all.”
She hopes to continue her career until retirement, teaching at the high school and “helping child’s minds expand to their fullest potential.”